Friday, July 31, 2015

She Said "Dada!"

Something big happened this week. The Baby said "Dada!" Of course, she had already said "Mama" a week or two earlier. And that's okay.

Still, it was quite a thrill when she said "Dada." The Baby was sitting on The Wife's lap when The Wife asked her, "Do you want to go to Daddy?"

The Baby held out her hands in my direction and said, "Dada!" And, just to make sure it wasn't a fluke, she said it three or four more times. I then got out the camera to take a video of her saying "Dada," and she, of course, stopped saying it. (Heaven forbid we be able to get those magic moments on camera.)

The real reason she's smiling is probably because she just pooped her pants.

For a long time I didn't really think I was going to be a dad. When I turned 39 years old I was single and alone. I hadn't been on a date in at least four or five years. I had come to grips with the fact that I was the crazy uncle, but I would never be a father.

A year later, when I turned 40, things were better, but not much. I had actually went on a couple of dates, and I had met a lovely young woman who I had exchanged a few e-mails with, but I didn't think much would come of it.

A little more than six months later, I married that lovely young woman!

And, a little more than six months after the wedding, I was told that we were expecting, and that I was going to be a father.

They say that when you become a dad, everything changes. It certainly does. When your child looks up at you with wonderment and awe, you can never be the same again. When your child sees you and smiles, you become a different person.

I have three kids, ages 7, 5, and almost eight months. They're still young enough that they look at me as if I'm some kind of super hero. It's actually kind of scary. I'm afraid to let them down. I'm afraid that someday they might discover that I'm not quite as awesome as they've always thought. 

It's a pretty daunting task, trying to live to be worthy of that unconditional love they send my way. And, I'll never be fully worthy of it. But the best I can do is try. I can try to be the father they already think I am. And if I come even remotely close, I'll be a very happy man.

So, when The Baby opened her arms to me, smiled, and excitedly said, "Dada," it scared the heck out of me. And it made me the happiest person on earth! 

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